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The front-wheel-drive Audi A1 is the sportiest car in the compact class. It is nimble and agile in the city; steady and precise on interurban roads, and comfortable on the highway. It owes these qualities primarily to the highly advanced chassis with the wide track and balanced weight distribution.

The engineers devoted a great deal of attention to the distribution of axle loads during the development of the A1. Measuring only 81 centimeters (31.89 inches), the front overhang is unusually short. Depending on the engine, only between 61 and 63 percent of the weight rests on the front axle, a low value for a compact car. A number of details contribute to this, such as the position of the battery, which with most engine options is underneath the luggage compartment. With a base weight of only 1,045 kilograms (2,303.83 lb), the A1 is the lightest vehicle in the premium compact class.

The front suspension comprises a MacPherson construction with lower triangular wishbones. The steering impulse from the electrohydraulic rack-and-pinion power steering, which is more efficient than a straight hydraulic system, is transferred via short paths to the pivot bearing for spontaneous steering response and precise, sensitive feedback through the steering wheel.

Direct: the power steering
At a ratio of 14.8:1, the steering is sportily direct, requiring only slight steering angles at the wheel. The high turn-in of the front wheels keeps the turning circle to 10.6 meters (34.78 feet) - both factors give the A1 the ultimate in agility in city traffic as well as on open roads.

Audi painstakingly tuned the front axle bearings, the stabilizer bar and the springs and dampers for sporty and balanced handling. A torsion-beam rear axle with separate springs and dampers features new guide bearings that were developed from the ground up. The Ambition trim line comes standard with a sport suspension featuring taut springs and dampers.

The A1 comes equipped with a new Audi technology regardless of the engine selected - the ESP stabilization system also includes an electronic differential lock. Similar to a mechanical locking differential, it makes the already agile handling even more neutral by largely eliminating understeer and improving traction. If the electronics detect that the load on the front inside wheel is reduced too much, it initiates brief, controlled braking of that wheel. The excess torque then flows to the outside wheel, which can apply more power to the road. Road behavior is even more precise, agile, stable and neutral, further enhancing objective safety and subjective confidence in the car.

With its sport modus, the ESP A1 is custom-tailored for agile driving. The stabilization system controls large, powerful wheel brakes. The front discs are internally ventilated and measure between 256 and 288 millimeters (10.08 and 11.34 inches) in diameter, depending on the engine. The rear wheels are equipped with powerful disc brakes. The Attraction trim line features 15-inch wheels; Ambition comes with 16-inch alloy wheels.

Audi offers optional 17-inch cast aluminum wheels, with some designs featuring modern bicolor designs, and wide-format 215/40 tires. quattro GmbH offers 18-inch cast aluminum wheels and wide-format 225/35 tires.

High performance: the wheel brakes
The sporty performance, top-class safety and comfort required in the premium compact class place high demands on the brakes. The brake system of the Audi A1 was selected specifically for the performance of the different variants.

Even the models with the entry level engines should therefore have plenty of braking power in reserve. Every vehicle comes equipped with ventilated disc brakes up front and massive brake discs in the rear.

Sport steering wheel
In keeping with the vehicle's sporty character, the A1 comes standard with a grippy three-spoke sport steering wheel that can be optionally wrapped in fine Nappa leather and trimmed with high-quality chrome-design elements.

A particular highlight is the new operating concept of the optional multifunction switch, which enables the convenient operation of the on-board computer, telephone, audio source and navigation system directly from the steering wheel.

Shift paddles that enable fast manual gear changes are optionally available in combination with an S tronic transmission.

The equipment, data and prices specified in this document refer to the model range offered in Germany. Subject to change without notice; errors and omissions excepted.

Source: Audi AG
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